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My CO2 bottle runs out in no time!

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Ville, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Ville

    Ville Junior Poster

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    Hi!
    This is my first post at this forum which is awesome btw.
    I have a 250L tank which is quite heavy planted. I've used the EasyLife EasyCarbo earlier but recently I purchased a pressurized CO2 system. The CO2 bottle is about 0,5L and it's connected to a small glass diffuser which makes beautiful small bubbles.

    My problem is that my CO2 bottle ran out after less than a week. I thought something was wrong with the bottle so I went back to the store and they gave me another one to try with after some arguing. But now the same thing happened?!? I don't keep the CO2 on at night and I have a dropchecker which had a nice green color when the CO2 was on. As far as I can see there is no leakage on the tubes or connections. Is my bottle way to small for my tank or is it possible that the diffuser doesn't diffuse the CO2 good enough so I need to keep the pressure too high in order to get enough CO2 in the water?

    I feel that I need some more input before I go back and ask for yet another bottle.
     
  2. DGalt

    DGalt Prolific Poster

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    sounds like a leak, I had the same issue. get some soapy water or some windex (which works really well) and spray a small amount on all of the connection points, including any compression adapters. chances are something isn't put together properly (my leak was at a faulty compression adapter that looked fine when everything was all together but had actually been assembled improperly and was leaking)

    also, do you have the plastic washer thing between your regulator and the CO2 tank? is it new? you should change it every time you change the CO2 tank.

    what does 0.5L translate in to in terms of pounds (or kilos)
     
  3. captain_bu

    captain_bu Prolific Poster

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    Welcome to the forum!

    .5 liter is a bit over 8 oz. which would be really small. I believe that standard paintball CO2 tanks hold 20 oz and they are too small to be cost effective if used on anything but the smallest aquarium. You may have a leak that you haven't found yet but if the CO2 bottle you have really holds only 8 oz and you are using it on a 250L (66 gallon) tank it would not be surprising for it to run out really quickly. I think you will get a better answer here if you can provide more details about your pressurized CO2 equipment starting by checking/confirming the capacity of your cylinder. How large is it and how much does it weigh full? Type of regulator and description of other equipment you are using with it may help with troubleshooting if the CO2 tank turns out to be large enough that the size/capacity of the cylinder itself isn't the issue.

    SR
     
  4. abcemorse

    abcemorse Prolific Poster

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    for a tank that size I'd get at least a 5 lb can if not 10. I go thru a 10 lb'er in about 4 1/2 mos in a 90G, I can see a very small tank like that running out quickly. Probably won't be the tank itself, if it is leaking it's a connection somewhere.
     
  5. mi5haha

    mi5haha Prolific Poster

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    It may not be liquid Co2 inside, but Co2 in gas phase only. Such small cylinders can last only around a week or so. If looking for longer service life, it needs to use bigger cylinders (4litre, 8litre etc) which are made of seamless steel, which hold liquid Co2 inside, and work for 4-6 months, or even longer if you do not run it wildly.
     
  6. Ville

    Ville Junior Poster

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    Thanks for all the quick responses. I will check some more info about the CO2 cylinder when I get home. And thanks for the tip with soapy water. I will try that as well.

    I'm a bit supprised the store recomended it to me if it is way to small. They feel quite professional.
     
  7. Ville

    Ville Junior Poster

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    I checked the bottle a bit more closely now and it doesn't really say that much more than 0.47L and 0.35KG but I'm not sure that's the CO2 or the canister. There is also a small sticker on it where someone has made the math 1869g + 350g = 2219g so I guess the actual CO2 is the 350g and the total weight after the refill was 2219g. Even if this is a small bottle it still feels like it should hold for more than 5 days.

    Unfortunately the bottle is out now so I can't check for leaks with the soapy water untill I get a new one.
     
  8. captain_bu

    captain_bu Prolific Poster

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    0.47L and 0.35KG is the volume and weight of the CO2, it is approximately .77 lbs.

    1869g + 350g = 2219g— this is the weight of the empty canister plus the weight of the CO2 and the total filled weight of the canister. CO2 canisters are weighed when filled and are usually stamped with the empty and full weight like yours is.

    I don't think you have a leak, just too small a canister for the size of tank you are using it with. I have to run a high bubble rate (impossible to count) on my 50 gallon tank (189L) to keep the levels at 30ppm or above and my 10lb tank lasts about 3 months. At 350 grams a week my 10 lb tank would last 12 weeks. I have a smaller aquarium than you do so 5 days per 350g sounds pretty believable if your bubble rate is high. People who can get away with low bubble rates (2-3 bps) on 50-55 gallon tanks report getting 9 months to a year out of a 10lb tank. I cannot find any leaks in my system, if I was running 2-3 bubbles per second and it was running out in 3 months I would be sure that it was a leak. I have tried multiple diffusion methods and they all have resulted in the need for very high bubble rates and approximately the same amount of time between refills.
     
  9. Ville

    Ville Junior Poster

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    Ok, this is what i feared. I can't count the bubbles either so you're probably right.

    I'll have to go for a larger canister then. Thanks!
     
  10. captain_bu

    captain_bu Prolific Poster

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    Generally best to get the largest size that you have room to store. The price difference to refill is negligible. I pay $11 US to refill my 10 lb. tank, the same place charges $8 to fill a 5lb tank. Here in the US some of the best prices for canisters can be found at fire extinguisher or welding places. It is also necessary to find out in advance where you will be getting refills before you buy a tank. Some shops will refill the tank you own and return it to you, others will only swap your empty tank for a full one. If that is the case there is little point in buying a shiny new tank.

    You can't use the regulator for a small paintball canister on a full size CO2 tank, a full size canister uses a different fitting for the connection. You may have to buy a new regulator too. Hate to say this but I am afraid you got some bad advice from the shop that sold you your current CO2 rig. If you have to replace the regulator they sold you in order to use a full size CO2 cylinder you should return the regulator and cylinder and ask for your money back or at the very least store credit. They can argue that the equipment they sold you will allow you to inject CO2 into your aquarium but it is not the proper equipment for the size of aquarium you have.

    If you have any further questions about what to buy, where to get it, or how to hook it up don't hesitate to ask for more help here. You will get better answers than at most shops (or other forums).
     
  11. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    You do realize that this forum is for planted aquariums and fish, correct?

    I think you posted on the wrong forum...............
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    If you want Mod privileges, let me know, you can delete the spammer asap.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. HookTheBrotherUp

    HookTheBrotherUp Junior Poster

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    Bigger better?

    I have a 20lb tank and it lasts me over two years. :D
     
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